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La Liga 2018-19: The Next Generation

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Zososoxfan, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. acf69

    acf69 lurker

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    149
    The closest top team from where we live is Juventus, and my kids became big fans last year and we have been visiting games in the stadium.

    Although I am not a big fan of the person Ronaldo, I have to say seeing him play in the stadium the guy is real. The amount of energy he is bringing including forcing everyone on the team to step up is unbelievable, and it is not hard to see why Juventus is doing very well and why Real is strugling, despite the strong players they have.
     
  2. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    That's interesting and thanks for sharing. I watched Juve-Inter yesterday though and CR7 was dreadful. Kept up his aggressive play but lost the ball numerous times and still plays no defense.
     
  3. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

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    178
    Quick bump of this thread.

    Sorta Hay Liga. Barcelona have pulled slightly away from Atletico and the midway point and look to have righted the ship a bit after a shaky start to the campaign. Atletico have put together a nice unbeaten run to separate themselves from the pack. If they could only score more (I know Costa has been hurt). Real Madrid have looked very un-Madrid like, and most people would point to the failure to replace CR7 with anyone. They sit in 4th behind Sevilla on goal differential. That’s where the table gets interesting- Alaves, Getafe, Betis, Sociedad, Girona, and Espanyol round out the top half of the table.

    Seeing Valencia (after a great campaign last year) in the bottom half, and Villarreal and Bilbao fighting relagation feels wrong to me. Assuming Huesca are destined for the drop, the fight to avoid the other two spots should be fun to watch. The gap from 6th to 18th is only nine points. Bilbao have never been relegated, Villarreal seem to have too much talent. Will tiny Eibar survive? I’d like to see Celta stay up (and Depor get promoted) to keep Galicia represented. Rayo Vallecano have struggled quite a bit, but are fun to watch at home.

    What is going at Real? I know they have huge injury problems and they won the game at Betis, but giving up 73% possession? This is not a knock on Real Betis, who beat Barca this year, and are very tough at home. But Madrid still had the likes of Modric, Casemiro, Caraval, and only 27% of the ball. They really parked the bus, especially in the second half. Also, Isco on the bench? I know results come first, but wow! I assume fans aren’t too pleased but any insight would be welcome. Maybe punting on La Liga, get some youngsters a bit of exposure, and a deep UCL run will satisfy the masses?
     
  4. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

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    178
    Such a strange season:
    Only seven teams with a positive goal differential
    Bilbao have righted the ship recently but still sit fourth (!!!) among Basque teams
    Villarreal sit in 19th- Cazorla, Bacca wow
    Only nine points separate 18th and 5th
    At the top, it’s been rather ho-hum for a while now. Barca dropped two points, Atletico dropped three.
     
  5. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    I don't have time to write-up some thoughts regarding La Liga, but Real and Barca have the first leg of their Copa semifinal today at 2:45pm. I don't think EV was going to rest more than 1-2 guys for a semifinal tie anyway, but now that this has become a Clasico, I think EV goes all in on burying Madrid.

    Barca's schedule this month is brutal:

    2/6 - Madrid (Copa)
    2/10 - @Bilbao (12)
    2/16 - Valladolid (14)
    2/19 - @Lyon (UCL)
    2/23 - @Sevilla (4)
    2/27 - @Madrid (Copa)
    3/2 - @Madrid (!) (3)

    Finally a break, then:

    3/10 - Rayo (18)
    3/13 - Lyon (UCL)
    3/17 - @Betis (6)

    EV absolutely needs to rotate @Bilbao and even more so against Valladolid. @Bilbao he should rest 2-4 starters considering they will be coming off a Clasico, and Valladolid is dead last in La Liga in Goals Scored, so might be a good time to give the defensive players a rest.
     
  6. teddykgb

    teddykgb Member SoSH Member

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    6,894
    That Lyon team gave City some real trouble in group stage. Given the style similarities between City and Barca (unfortunately our little Argentine is a smidge worse than yours) that is a tie Barca need to be careful for. They should win it but I would agree that it makes the month a bit more tricky
     
  7. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    Lyon will be a stiff test, but one that should be exciting. It's not just the quality of the opposition though, it's the mere number of fixtures. Including the 2/2 match against Sevilla, that's 8 matches in the month of February. I wouldn't expect any rotation for UCL matches nor against Sevilla and Real. That's why the Copa matchup against Real is a real PITA - EV and the Board will not entertain any notions of giving Real any leeway.
     
  8. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

    Messages:
    178
    This is why I wouldn’t have been too upset if Sevilla had knocked Barca off in the Copa. February will be tough.

    Valladolid at home is a definite rest game, as is Rayo. At Betis is tough game, just ask the big boys from Madrid. I’m always cautious about games in Bilbao. The Lion’s Den can be unwelcoming to say the least.
     
  9. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    With Real winning the Madrid derby and Barca drawing at San Mames, Barca's lead to now 2nd place Real is down to 6 with the Clasico at the Bernabeu still to play. Barca's GD is 20 better than Real, but there are cracks. Arthur's injury forced Vidal into action and he was just as bad as Coutinho yesterday (albeit with lower expectations). Nevertheless, the team played much better when Alena was in. Dembele is also such a clear upgrade over Coutinho and really, I would've preferred for Malcom to have had an opportunity to build on his terrific Clasico performance. I think EV will start giving Malcom opportunities over Couts and maybe try Couts as the attacking mid with in the MF3, although Couts did not do well with that earlier this season.
     
  10. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    It's kinda jarring that we don't have any Real Madrid fans on the board, but nevertheless, in light of Kepa's stunt, Bale had his own little hissy fit Sunday after scoring the winning penalty against Levante. Roll the tape:



    Basically, Bale is a loner at Madrid and rather than step into the giant void that CRonaldo left, Bale has had a season similar to his others in Spain. He will almost certainly be back in the EPL next season. I hope he signs for Chelsea!
     
  11. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,759
    I happened to be at the Madrid derby at Calder...I mean, Wanda...a few weeks ago, and was sitting just a few rows up from the pitch. I had a front-row seat of Bale's "flicking off" -- it wasn't a middle finger but rather that arm-crossing move -- of the crowd. It was bizarre but perhaps seen as an isolated incident. This week's non-celebration affirms he's not happy there.

    I think Real Madrid always played better without Bale, even if he has/has had the ability to do something spectacular at a given moment. His speed has benefited the team's play and his skill has helped, but I found that the overall quality improves without him.
     
  12. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    Barca-Real finish of their Copa tie this afternoon at the Bernabeu after drawing 1-1 at Camp Nou. From the Barca side, I'm hoping that EV continues to try out the 4-2-3-1 with Messi as the center of the 3, with Couts on the left and Dembele on the right. This gets the best attackers in their best positions with balance. It also lets Busi and Rak have their roles clarified a bit. The one drawback to this is that the FBs will likely have less license to go forward, but hey, if you want to get all your shiny attacking toys out there, something has to give. Moreover, with the double pivot Barca should be able to protect the wings when the FBs do jump into attack. Specifically, when Alba overlaps Couts because Couts is not fast enough to stretch the wing, the entire back 6 will need to shift left. Although Malcom ran Marcelo ragged last match, I'd be surprised to see him start. I think EV goes full bore best XI in the 4-2-3-1

    MATS
    Alba-Pique-Lenglet-Semedo
    Rak-Busi
    Couts-Messi-Dembele
    Suarez

    This was used in the second half of Sevilla and Barca came roaring back from down 2-1 at the Sanchez Pizjuan to finish 4-2.

    On the Real side, I guess the spotlight is on Bale and whether he can play John McEnroe angry good. He's clearly on the outs with the club, but he's still talented. With Vinicius still doing well and Benz I guess the de facto leader of the squad, it will be interesting to see how Real look in the Clasico Part I (Barca-Real have another La Liga match at the Bernabeu on Saturday).
     
  13. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Barca went into the Bernabeu twice in a week and won both times, without conceding a goal. Flo must be irate. While the Copa doesn't matter much, it always hurts to get dumped out by your rivals, especially when they are also crushing you in the domestic competition that DOES matter. Real are now 12 points back of Barca and are closer to 4th (6 points) than the top of La Liga. TBH, I didn't even recognize some of the names that played for Real during these matches (Valverde??). Bale sucks and is clearly disinterested. Former promising stars Isco and Asensio were nondescript. Ramos picked a fight with Messi and continues to be a POS. Vinicius is a beast, but Roberto kept him in check. Arthur makes the 4-3-3 work (EV finally put Dembele on the right and it made the team much better. Vidal had his best performance for Barca as a 20-25 minute sub. Pique and Lenglet are insanely good. Suarez seems to be off the schneides. Courtois had a nice match, but was outshined by Makes All The Saves.

    I hope Getafe or Alaves can hold onto the 4th spot instead of Sevilla. It would be nice for that change of pace. I feel like Valencia may also make a push down the stretch.
     
  14. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

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    178
    I’m with you on this. I’d love to see a new team grab a UCL spot. A lot of us would be hard pressed to name many players on either squad, and could probably more easily rattle off more players on 18th placed Villarreal than either squad. Getafe in particular look to have earned the spot so far with +11 goal differential- 4th best in La Liga and one goal behind Real Madrid!

    Sevilla have been playing pretty poorly since their hot start. They’ll do what they’ve always done next season and win the Europa League.

    Valencia look like they’ve captured last season’s form and style. They were pretty convincing last weekend over Bilbao, while having really good players on the bench (Soler, Gameiro, Goncalo Guedes, former Gunners Gabriel and Coquelin, not to mention Garay who is out injured). My gut tells me with form, depth, and quality that Valencia will get to 4th, especially if they avoid more draws (15!!! so far). I have a soft spot for them having seen some games at the Mestalla. Great fans, great club who have been through some recent tough times, great stadium.

    Speaking of Valencia, rival Villarreal are still fighting to avoid relegation. Only four points separate last place Huesca with 16th place Valladolid. Five teams for two spots.

    Not sure why I’m obsessed with this fact, but Athletic Bilbao continue to be the 4th Basque club in La Liga despite their recent surge. One good weekend could see them jump to second, but it’s still crazy to me.
     
  15. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,759
    The news is that Zidane will be returning as Real Madrid's coach just nine months after deciding to depart. When Zidane left, he hinted that he foresaw some struggles, so it's a bit odd that he's coming back at this point. Maybe Zidane thinks that now that the trouble is out in the open he can institute his own changes (rather than having to go through the rough patch) or maybe the money is a motivator or maybe he's just bored.

    I think the whole scenario is bizarre, but it's Real Madrid and the club seems to enjoy some level of turmoil under Florentino Perez's leadership.
     
  16. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    4,770
    From a coaching career perspective it makes sense. As you said, he saw the problems coming without CR7 and removed his name from the mess. He gets to come in, assess where the squad is (namely, what role is there left for the old guard, if any) and pick his targets in time for the summer. For his troubles, I'm sure he will get paid handsomely. The other thing in this is that perhaps Juve told him Allegri wasn't going anywhere even if they bow out against Mighty Atleti! I'm convinced that one if not both Hazard and Mbappe is coming. Who else will join them.
     
  17. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,759
    Bale is now gone since he and Zidane don't see eye-to-eye, so I have to think Real Madrid will most certainly go after Hazard now.
     

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